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Poster: midnightcarousel Date: Oct 4, 2010 7:24am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: When did/does a band 'peak'?

For me, the whole era 68-74 was one long continuous peak; I really like it all pretty equally. So I might say they peaked early on in their career, but I just think the peak lasted longer than a single year or whatever. In some ways, they got better and better, but of course that depends on your perspective; they lost a little of their acerbic terseness in exchange for a more open jazziness, and I think that exchange happened gradually over the course of those six years (they were still really intense in '72!).

There's some amount of artificiality to the above explanation; the main problem being that we can't really describe anything about their career without resorting to generalizations that never really apply. But that's the way I've framed it in my head, and it seems to fit as well as any other theory I've heard of or come up with.